COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo (CBS4/AP) – An El Paso County judge has declined to move the upcoming trial of former county Sheriff Terry Maketa.
The Colorado Springs Gazette reports that District Judge Larry E. Schwartz refused the change of venue request on Friday. Maketa’s attorney argued that extensive media coverage has affected his chances of a fair trial.
Maketa, who resigned in 2014, faces trial on six felony counts that include extortion, tampering, second-degree kidnapping and false imprisonment.
Maketa and Paula Presley are accused of threatening to terminate a $5.2 million contract with a company that provided medical services to the county jail if the company didn’t fire an employee who documented what she said were inappropriate comments made to her by a sheriff’s commander.
Maketa, Presley and San Augustin also are accused of coercing a woman who was involved in a domestic dispute with a deputy to recant her story. The woman was then arrested.
In 2015, El Paso County paid more than $200,000 to settle harassment claims against the former sheriff. Two sergeants filed claims against Maketa and Presley the previous year, alleging harassment and emotional abuse.
Before Maketa resigned under a cloud in 2014 he was accused of having affairs with three women in his department and promoting them to high-paying jobs.
Maketa led the department for 12 years.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)